- States insist on permanent solution to NNPC issue
Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) suffered another adjournment yesterday, the third since June 27, 2018 and the fifth since the beginning of the year, over controversies surrounding remittances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The allocations for the months of May and June were yet to be distributed among the three tiers of government following the rejection of the NNPC remittances.
On June 27, when the stakeholders met in Abuja for the sharing of the May accruals into the Federation Account, the meeting ended in a stalemate as the representatives of the 36 states rejected the NNPC remittance.
Two days ago, the FAAC meeting where the allocations for May and June were to be shared also ended in a deadlock.
When the meeting reconvened yesterday, the state commissioners for finance insisted that a permanent solution must be explored to resolve the recurring issue around NNPC remittances to the Federation Account.
Chairman, Forum of Commissioners of Finance, Mallam Yunusa Mahmoud, confirmed the postponement to journalists.
â€œ The reason why FAAC meeting is cancelled again is because we want to strengthen the system to avoid a repeat of this issue in the future. It is not about how much the NNPC has remitted now; it is about putting the necessary things in order to make sure we do not experience this.
â€œ The president (Buhari) is very much interested in this issue and it is on his table now. Very soon, all that needs to be done would be done so that every money coming to the federation account will be channeled to the appropriate authority. Every money has to go to the federal government accountâ€, he said.
The states, he pointed out, had no personal grudge against the NNPC, adding that all they crave for was for the strengthening of remittance procedures.
Mahmoud said: â€œ The moment the system is strengthened, definitely there will be no more problem. There will be no more saying bring more money, the money is shortened or this and that.
â€œWe know that people are facing difficulties, people are in pains, salaries have not been paid by federal government, salaries are owed in a lot of states but this is the sacrifice that all of us must do in order to resolve this under remittance of revenue by NNPCâ€
â€œWe are all partners in progress – the stateâ€™s, local government and the NNPC itself. At the end of the day, NNPC will also appreciate what we are doing, because if new process are put in place and being operated the way they are supposed to be, nobody will complain and even the NNPC will be off the pressure.